The ceremonial first puck is a longstanding ritual of ice hockey in which a guest of honor drops a puck to mark the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game. Like baseball's ceremonial first pitch, this first puck does not actually begin play but is retrieved and presented to the guest of honor as a keepsake. In the National Hockey League (NHL), the anthem is routinely played after the ceremonial first puck.
The ceremonial puck dropper may be a notable person (dignitary, celebrity, former player, etc.) who is in attendance, an executive from a company that sponsors the team (especially when that company has sponsored that night's promotional giveaway), or a person who has been awarded the privilege as a result of some recent contest or current event. Especially in the minor leagues, multiple first puck drops are not uncommon; the honoree may merely pose at centre ice displaying his commemorative puck without actually dropping it into any faceoff.
Other articles related to "ceremonial first puck":
... Although hockey has been played on ice since at least 1825, the game then more closely resembled field hockey rather than modern ice hockey ... By the 1870s, the advantages of a stubby cylinder on a surface of flat ice led to the use of what the Montreal Gazette of March 4, 1875 called "a flat, circular piece of wood" which "slid about between the players with great velocity" ...
Famous quotes containing the word ceremonial:
“The greatest honor that can be paid to the work of art, on its pedestal of ritual display, is to describe it with sensory completeness. We need a science of description.... Criticism is ceremonial revivification.”
—Camille Paglia (b. 1947)